The Cancer Community (C2) Awards

Advancing cancer care requires more than just science. It’s a collective effort driven by passionate individuals and organizations dedicated to making a difference for those living with and affected by cancer. For patients and their families, that community of healthcare professionals, researchers, caregivers, advocates, educators and others who offer relief in extraordinarily difficult times are cause for celebration. The Cancer Community (C2) Awards honor that diverse and indispensable group, the unsung heroes of cancer care.

2019 Winners

We’re excited to spotlight the four winners of the first Cancer Community (C2) Awards for the inspiring work they have done to help and support cancer patients and their loved ones. Hear their stories:

C2 Catalyst For Change Award

C2 Catalyst For Change Award

Keith Winfrey, MD, MPH

Chief Medical Officer, New Orleans East Louisiana Community Health Center

C2 Catalyst For Care Award

C2 Catalyst For Care Award

The Centers of Excellence program of the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer

Represented by
Leah Fine, Senior Director

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C2 Catalyst For Precision Medicine Award

C2 Catalyst For Precision Medicine Award

Barbara Gitlitz, MD and Geoffrey Oxnard, MD

Co-Principal Investigators, The Genomics of Young Lung Cancer Study

Watch Video
President's Award

President's Award

Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance's Survivors Teaching Students®

Represented by
Susan Leighton, National Program, Director
Audra Moran, President & CEO

Watch Video

2019 Finalists

Congratulations to the finalists who have been recognized by their peers for the inspiring work they do each day – all collectively working to make a difference for those living with and affected by cancer.

Our Judges

Finalists and winners in the Catalyst for Change, Catalyst for Care and Catalyst for Precision Medicine categories were selected by an esteemed panel of judges from across the cancer community.

2018-2019 Categories

Nominees were submitted in four categories:

Scientific advancements in cancer care and treatment can save lives, but often ensuring these advancements reach the community-level or more rural areas, for example, can be a challenge. Nominees for the C2 Catalyst for Change Award are working to change that.

Nominees for this award drive change at the community-, neighborhood- or hospital-level that results in better cancer care for more people. Maybe a Nominee found a way to get more people screened for cancer at an earlier stage or figured out a creative approach to access new treatments or facilities. Or perhaps the Nominee created a science-based communication, initiative or event that improved access to cancer care and treatment. The C2 Catalyst for Change Award celebrates those who significantly improve access to cancer care for underserved populations.

Award Criteria

  • A Nominee needs to significantly improve the ability of underserved populations to receive high-quality cancer care. Examples include:
    • Improving access to treatment and quality cancer care for patients who previously went without it.
    • Creating more space at a facility that lacked it, facilitating the treatment of more patients.
    • Developing an educational cancer-prevention program in a region with a lack of knowledge.
    • Improving a community’s ability to serve cancer patients through advocacy, government relations or media attention.
  • A Nominee should be able to demonstrate measurable impact, whether as people reached, populations served, procedures increased, screens undertaken, etcetera.
  • Ideally, a Nominee’s process/methodology/approach could be applied in other communities to further expand access to patients in underserved areas.

How a patient feels during a treatment and what happens to a patient outside the clinic matters just as much as the treatment itself. Nominees for the C2 Catalyst for Care Award work to improve the patient experience.

A Nominee could have developed a system where providers go to patients or make hospitals look like homes. A Nominee might have created a transportation service to provide free rides to medical appointments. Or a Nominee might help patients or their families manage challenges beyond medical care, such as finances or quality-of-life issues. This award is all about making a patient’s experience as easy as possible during an extraordinarily difficult time.

Award Criteria

  • A Nominee needs to significantly enhance the experience of cancer care for patients at some stage in their cancer treatment, from diagnosis and beyond. Examples include:
    • Developing improved hospital facilities or quality-of-life programs, such as new wards or experiences, new food menus or transportation services.
    • Advocating for improved quality-of-life services and methods.
    • Creating easy-to-use digital adherence tools.
    • Improving the experience of patient families, helping them navigate a very difficult time.
  • A winner should be able to demonstrate measurable impact, whether as patients reached, programs started, meals prepared, rides given, etcetera.
  • Ideally, the tools or techniques required to implement the winner’s advance should be something that could apply to cancer-care across the country.

Many of the most promising advances in cancer care come from the area of precision oncology, which uses specific characteristics of a patient’s cancer to improve tests or target treatments. The Nominee of the C2 Catalyst for Precision Medicine Award is expanding the boundaries for how to personalize care for each patient, bringing new, more individualized tests and treatments to patients and improving health outcomes in the process.

A Nominee might have pioneered new research to help oncologists understand the genetics of a patient’s cancer differently and thereby provide better treatment options. Or a Nominee may have created new protocols to identify which specific patients may benefit from a specific treatment protocol. This award celebrates those who enhance the ability to provide the right treatment for the right patient at the right time.

Award Criteria

  • A Nominee needs to significantly improve personalized treatments for cancer patients, giving them new options. Examples include:
    • Developing new kind of precision-oncology method that leads to measurable improvements in health outcomes.
    • Developing tools to help identify patients who may benefit from a new precision-oncology approach.
    • Leading research that identifies new, more personalized options for cancer treatment.
    • Spearheading a new policy to enhance testing or screening for a specific cancer mutation
  • A winner should be able to demonstrate measurable impact, such as patients treated, programs started, etcetera.
  • Ideally, the tools or techniques required to implement the winner’s advance should be something that could apply across the country.

Cancer does not have any fixed rules, nor does the President’s Award, save one: The winner must make a tangible and inspiring difference in the lives of patients or their loved ones. A Nominee may have started a 5K race to raise enough money
to pay a certain patient’s treatment. A Nominee may have built a cancer survivor support group or online forum. A Nominee might even have changed a loved one’s life by becoming an advocate or caregiver or a volunteer hospice worker. Selected by an AstraZeneca executive.

Award Criteria

  • The winner’s contributions benefited the cancer community in an inspirational way that lies outside of the criteria for the other C2 Awards.
  • This winner should show an unexpected way to contribute to the cancer community and improve it.


Fall 2019

Nominations Open

Spring 2020

Awards Ceremony and Winner's Announcement

Nominees of each C2 Award will receive $50,000 to be donated to a pre-specified list of 501(c)3 non-profit organizations that serve the cancer community. They will also be honored at a ceremony in New York City and have their work featured in a variety of media opportunities. See our rules and regulations here.

Our Partner

The program is a partnership between AstraZeneca and Scientific American Custom Media and nominees will be selected by a broad group of experts drawn from our community.

Scientific American has been bringing its global audience unique insights into science, technology and medicine for more than 170 years. The C2 Awards are a partnership with Scientific American Custom Media, working with a group patient advocates, caregivers, healthcare providers, leaders in industry and members of government agencies to select Nominees.